Wednesday, October 8, 2008

stray bullets

'Intelligent' computers put to the test No machine has yet passed the test devised by Turing, who helped to crack German military codes during the Second World War. But at 9am next Sunday, six computer programs - "artificial conversational entities" - will answer questions posed by human volunteers at the University of Reading in a bid to become the first recognised "thinking" machine.

Blake Pontchartrain on Zulu coconuts Everybody wanted a Zulu coconut, but when you shouted 'Hey, Mister, throw me something," and what you got was a coconut thrown at you, you ducked or suffered the consequences. Believe it or not, lawsuits resulted; lots of them. When Mardi Gras of 1987 rolled around, the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club was unable to get insurance, so it was a parade without coconuts. One year, back in the day, I had the honor of painting a dozen or so Zulu coconuts.

costume detail: Stripes "The Medieval eye found any surface in which a background could not be distinguished from the foreground disturbing. Thus striped clothing was relegated to those on the margins or outside the social order - jugglers and prostitutes for example - and in medieval paintings the devil himself is often seen wearing stripes." The Devil's Cloth by Michel Pastoreau (via)

The Avant Garde Project is a series of recordings of 20th-century classical-experimental-electroacoustic music digitized from LPs whose music has in most cases never been released on CD, and so is effectively inaccessible to the vast majority of music listeners today. (via)

How to Photograph the Stars (via)
Original Locations of 15 Mega-Chains (via)
Death becomes him: Kevorkian’s artwork on display at Armenian Library (via)
Another rare Serra interview (via)
Best of History Web Sites (via)
Dickens' London Map (via)
Fight Spam With A Direct Message To Twitter (via)

Buckminster Fuller profiled on PBS's SundayArts
Ladislaw Starewicz - Cameraman's Revenge (proto-stop-animation)
Scratching With Tape Decks (cassette and reel-to-reel)
Vinyl Record Manufacturing Explained
Smashing Glass To The Anvil Chorus (via)

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